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JACKSON, ANDREW (1767-1845)

# 6025

Seventh U.S. President - 1829-37

Franked Panel, 8” x 10”, “Free, Andrew Jackson,” also addressed by Jackson, to “Major A.J. Donelson, Charge de Affairs from the U[nited] States to the Republic of Texas. By pr[ivate] Waggoner [sic] or Bearer of Dispatches – to the care of Capt. Easthorn, merchant New Orleans.”

A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in 1820, Andrew Jackson Donelson served as aide-de-camp to his uncle, General Andrew Jackson, during his term as Governor of the Florida Territory and as private secretary to the President during Jackson’s two terms in office. Appointed U.S. Charge d’Affaires to the Republic of Texas in 1844, Donelson was instrumental in the negotiations which resulted in the admission of the state of Texas to the Union in 1845. This hand-carried cover can thus be dated to that period, and the importance of the letter it carried from the former President is a matter upon which we can only speculate.

Light soiling and wear, particularly along the usual folds; numerous tears and breaks, along with paper loss associated with the opening of the wax seals have been professionally repaired on reverse.


MEAD, SAMUEL H. Father of World-Renowned Naturalist, Entomologist & Horticulturist Theodore Luqueer Mead

# 7842

On his first research trip to Florida, Theodore Luqueer Mead receives a letter from his father.

“Insect Pins (large) – I regret to report that after taking out each drawer in the Secretary & looking in all accessible segar Boxes I find Nary.”

Autograph Letter Signed, 5” x 8”, March 15, 1869, four pages on a folded letter-sheet, at the time of his sons’ first research trip to the Florida interior. Signed “Pop” at the conclusion, a full signature is incorporated both within the text of the letter and on the transmittal envelope, addressed to “Sam[ue]l H. Mead, Jr. or T.L. Mead, Enterprise, Florida,” and bearing a March 15, New York postmark.

Addressing his young sons in an amusing, colloquial manner, the senior Mead discusses travel to the heat and humidity of central Florida, “…I gather from your acc[oun]t that the Storms were simply disgusted with the inferior accommodations & barbarism generally of the South…”; the prevailing prices of Manhattan real estate, “…No. 45 Pearl St. which we sold 2 years ago at $25,200 sold at auction last week at $24,000, not much rise there…”; and the arrival of a new bicycle, “…The Velocipede has been sent home Bill $5.” Further detailed is his effort to send equipment for his sons’ scientific research, “Insect Pins (large) – I regret to report that after taking out each drawer in the Secretary & looking in all accessible segar [sic] Boxes I find Nary.”

In full:

                                           New York, Mar[ch] 15/[18]69.

                             Dear Ones,

This Monday morning, I received lots of letters from you. One from 8 am Mar[ch] 7 up to Mar. 11 when you were to start for Enterprise. One from Momma & Sam Mar. 11 containing account of the separation of the party you leaving John & sister with Mr. & Mrs. Jenkins. I gather from your acc[oun]t that the Storms were simply disgusted with the inferior accommodations & barbarism generally of the South & were consequently in a bad humor with the universe at large. Also, one letter from Theo dated Enterprise Mar. 7, requesting large insect pins & detailing excursions.

Your telegram reached me Mar. 11 in accordance with which I enclosed $400 in 20s & 50s greenbacks and sent by Southern Express to Theodore L. Mead or Sam[ue]l H. Mead, Jr., Enterprise, Florida.

[Page 2]

It will take a week you reach you. I immediately telegraphed to you at Savannah this fact but received a return message from the manager that you had left Savannah & asking direction. I replied (free of cost) to send the telegram to you at Enterprise by mail. This was very attentive on his part & quite unexpected by me. I supposed they did not care whether any given message was delivered or not.

I infer that you have had no opportunity to make your checks available. If you draw checks let me know, in order that I may be sure that there is money enough to your credit to meet them. You still have the $500 in Bank to your credit if you have not drawn against it. Mrs. Wendel has called & mentioned she & a party were going to Fortress Monroe. She would write you

[Page 3]

frequently I infer if she thought the letters would reach you.

H.M. Colton called in a great pinch for money, wanted $300 bad. He was really kind to Sam when a youngster & so I lent him $100 for 3 weeks. I guess he will pay me. Uncle Obadiah writes me that he would like to sell his farm for $25,000 which is a stunner. I don’t see it at much over half that.

No. 45 Pearl St. which we sold 2 years ago at $25,200 sold at auction last week at $24,000, not much rise there. Frank Luqueer is building 3 houses besides the 2 you know of, he has sold 1 of the three. Robert gets in his new house May 1. James is interested in some way in the building of a 49th St. house opposite his own house.

The Velocipede has been sent home Bill $5. The spokes are all firm but nothing has been done

[Page 4]

to the hubs, the cracks are not filled with putty but I suppose they are as sound as new ones, the cracks being superficial. Theo says that Southern C.O.D. means $2.50 additional on every $50 which pays the Express for taking the money. Fellow countrymen can these things be? I shall stop at Moore’s & pay if I am in time before shipment of F’s gun.

Insect Pins (large) – I regret to report that after taking out each drawer in the Secretary & looking in all accessible segar [sic] Boxes I find Nary.

If you remember the few possible places where you could have put them & tell me, after putting on your thinking cap I can find them or will purchase if you give technical description.

                                   Affect[ionately], Pop

On his first trip to Florida, shortly before the receipt of this letter, Theodore Luqueer Mead, 1852-1936, captured a butterfly specimen only encountered once before, beginning what would be the work of a lifetime in the state. After a butterfly collecting trip to Colorado and the Southwest in the early 1870s, graduation from Cornell University in 1877, and a second research trip to the West, Mead settled near Enterprise, Florida. Managing his citrus groves and continuing the work which so fascinated him over the course of sixty years, he subsequently became the foremost authority in the hybridization of flowers, particularly orchids. He also pioneered the spraying of warm water from artesian wells onto citrus trees, allowing the crop to survive sub-freezing temperatures. Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park, Florida is named in his honor. Theodore’s brother, Samuel H. Mead, Jr., died of an accidental self-inflicted gunshot wound in 1875.

The pages are lightly toned, with easily reparable separation at two horizontal folds.



# 7823

Colonel and Quartermaster General in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War; U.S. Postmaster General – 1791-95; U.S. Secretary of War – 1795-96; U.S. Secretary of State – 1795-1800; U.S. Congressman – Massachusetts – 1813-17

Franking Signature, as U.S. Secretary of State, “Dep[artment] of State, T. Pickering,” on a 3 ¼” x 5 ¼” portion of a postal panel, also addressed by Pickering to “The Hon[ora]ble James Sullivan, Boston, Massachusetts,” probably Massachusetts attorney general, later governor of the state, 1807-08. With a stamped postmark and free designation, the panel is marked “1798” in pencil in an unknown hand at the lower edge.

The paper is lightly and evenly toned, with several nicks and small tears at the upper edge, and there is heavier wear and soiling along two vertical folds.


POLK, JAMES K. (1795-1849)

# 6712

Eleventh U.S. President - 1845-49

Franked Envelope, 3 ¼” x 5 ¼”, “Free, J.K. Polk,” addressed in another hand to “Gen[eral] Thomas H. Bradley (Care of Gregg & Elliott), Philadelphia, Penn[sylvania],” also bearing a Washington City postmark and stamped “Free” postal designation.

There is nothing to indicate if the envelope is dated to Polk’s tenure in the U.S. Congress, 1825-39, or to his single term as U.S. President. The recipient, Thomas H. Bradley, a Williamson County, Tennessee native, served in the 1st Tennessee Volunteers during the Second Seminole War. Afterward, he established a large plantation on the Mississippi River in Arkansas, becoming one of the wealthiest planters in the area. In 1861, Bradley, a Unionist Democrat, was elected to the Arkansas Secession Convention, at which he was named brigadier general of Arkansas state troops.

Moderate soiling and wear is somewhat heavier at the edges.


TAFT, HELEN H. (1861-1943)

# 7053

U.S. First Lady – 1909-13

Franking Signature, “Helen H. Taft, Free,” on a 3 ½” x 5 ½” black-bordered mourning envelope – due to the death of her husband, William Howard Taft, the previous spring – also addressed by Mrs. Taft, to “Mr. George A. Stare, 1152 Muirfield Road, Los Angeles, California.”

The envelope is lightly and evenly toned, with light soiling and wear. There is a small hole just above the address, which is intersected by the oddly positioned October 23, 1930, Washington, D.C. postmark.



# 7054

U.S. First Lady – 1915-21

Franking Signature, “Edith Bolling Wilson,” on a 3 ½” x 6” black-bordered mourning envelope, postmarked Washington, D.C., March 12, 1924 – shortly after the February 3 death of her husband, Woodrow Wilson. Addressed in another hand, to “The American Legion, Allein Post No. 3, Vicksburg, Mississippi.”

Accompanied by a black-bordered card, with the printed inscription, “Mrs. Woodrow Wilson desires to express her deep appreciation of your kind sympathy.”

Both pieces are lightly toned, and the envelope has slightly heavier soiling and wear. Much of the signature is intersected by the postmark.


WOLCOTT, OLIVER, JR. (1760-1833)

# 7825

U.S. Treasury Secretary – 1795-1800; Governor of Connecticut – 1817-27; Revolutionary War Deputy Quartermaster General

Free-Frank as U.S. Treasury Secretary under President John Adams

Franked Address Panel, 7 ¾” x 9”, as U.S. Treasury Secretary, “Free, Oliv[er] Wolcott,” addressed in another hand, to “William Tuck, Esquire, Collector, Gloucester, Massachusetts.” With stamped postmark and free designations, docketing at the right edge is consistent with Wolcott’s tenure as treasury secretary, “18 Dec[ember] 1799, Sec[retar]y of the Treasury, rec[eip]t for $130.44. Marine hospital Money.”

The paper is lightly and evenly toned, with scattered stains. The text is unaffected by several holes, one in the upper margin associated with the opening of the wax seal, weakness and separation at the folds, and heavier staining along the lower edge.


YATES, RICHARD (1815-73)

# 7784

Governor of Illinois - 1861-64; Friend and Supporter of Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War; U.S. Representative - Illinois – 1851-55; U.S. Senator – Illinois - 1865-71

Franked Envelope, 3” x 5 ½”, “Rich[ar]d Yates, U.S.S.,” thus dated to Yates’s tenure in the U.S. Senate, 1865-71, also addressed in his hand, to “Col[onel] J.S. Loomis, U.S. Hotel, Atlantic City, N. Jersey,” and bearing a Washington, D.C. postmark.

The envelope is lightly and evenly toned, with light soiling and wear, along with several tears at the upper edge.